European natural gas prices finished higher for the first time in eight days on Monday as the market once again focused on supply shortfalls this winter.

A wave of liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes has been landing on the continent as traders looked to capitalize on soaring prices in recent weeks that hit a record of nearly $60/MMBtu Dec. 21. Warmer weather and the additional supplies helped to temper prices. Celsius Energy noted Sunday that natural gas inventories in Europe increased for three days straight and cut the storage deficit to the five-year average from -628 Bcf to -569 Bcf. 

European stocks are still at only 56% of capacity versus the five-year average of 72% at this time of year. Russian flows to Northwest Europe are also at their lowest in more than three years,...